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Forums > Submission Feedback > Felix_Arabia's Metroid review

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Author: Suskie
Posted: June 01, 2008 (10:54 PM)
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I've occasionally thought that you're a little too hard on older games, because nothing ages perfectly. Metroid is definitely one of those games that time hasn't been kind to, however, and the game's many grating flaws are examined quite well in this review. Good work.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: Halon
Posted: June 01, 2008 (11:46 PM)
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Too generous. My score is more accurate.


IF YOU WANT MORE BEATS FOR YOUR BUCK THERE'S NO LUCK.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (12:15 AM)
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Your score isn't accurate, sportsman, because Metroid (while flawed somewhat) can still be a lot of fun even in today's age of glitzy games.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Suskie
Posted: June 02, 2008 (12:25 AM)
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I actually still kind of enjoy Metroid despite the repetitive level design and horrible save system where you have to die if you want to quit. Maybe I find the masochistic challenge appealing, which would explain why I'd still rather play the original over the hand-holding remake. I can definitely acknowledge that the game has a lot of problems, though.

On a related note, I'll defend Kid Icarus to my grave.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: June 02, 2008 (05:34 AM)
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Thanks for the comments guys. I'm glad you liked it, Suskie.

I've never played Kid Icarus . . .

I will say that while many people do enjoy Metroid for whatever reason, I never actually played it until long after its release. And when I did first play it, it was as an unlockable to Zero Mission. I distinctly recall going through a few tunnels and thinking "this really sucks."

Of course I played through it more on the NES, but my impressions for the game have never been that high.


I don't have to boost my review resume because I have a real resume.


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (08:48 AM)
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The NES to SNES game 'upgrades' had varying degrees of success, I think. Mostly, the newer games did a good job of improving upon the NES originals. I'm thinking of Mario World and Castlevania IV.

Then there are those cases where the game you prefer seems to be determined by the order in which you played them. I loved Zelda III, and thought the original was a serious bore. Same goes with Super Metroid and Metroid (What? I gotta make my own maps?).

Then there are those cases where the NES original blows the SNES update out of the water: Contra/Super C as compared to Contra III.


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: dagoss
Posted: June 02, 2008 (09:06 AM)
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I agree and disagree with this review. In 1986 there wasn't anything like Metroid. It would be hard to argue that Metroid wasn't a masterpiece -- a game with multiple endings and free-roaming platforming was was genre defining.

In retrospect though, it is tedious, boring, and completely artless. I can't tolerate playing it for more than a few minutes even though I usually swear by older games. It was genius 22 years ago, but genius in a way like early Elizabethan revenge tragedies -- interesting idea that really aged poorly.

Also, the original version of the game on the FDS had save files, not passwords. I think that alone might give you a better impression.


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Author: Suskie
Posted: June 02, 2008 (09:48 AM)
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You've never played Kid Icarus, Felix? That didn't stop you from rating it a 1/10. Maybe you should stop making ludicrous comments about games you've obviously never played :)


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: June 02, 2008 (09:59 AM)
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When the heck did I rate Kid Icarus, haha? I'll erase my rating if I did. I honestly don't remember doing that at all.

While I agree that Metroid was unique for 1986 or whatever, we're no longer living in 1986. The first time I played the game was in 2004, and it wasn't even the first, second, or third Metroid game I had played. By the time I got to experience its impact, the game was already obsolete. The only thing it did was give me a pining to play more Metroid Zero Mission.


I don't have to boost my review resume because I have a real resume.


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (10:13 AM)
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My best friend looks at Metroid as one of the best games ever. Once, I'd borrowed it from him and liked it for awhile, but the repetition of going through hordes of identical rooms to find items combined with having to completely recharge health after restarting a game caused me to lose interest, so I either enlisted good ol' Justin Bailey or my Game Genie.

Before I reviewed it, I decided to give it another shot. This time, it was a FAQ of the game, online maps and constant use of freeze states that got me through it.

So, that's two attempts to play the game and two attempts where I only mustered the willpower to endure the whole thing via various forms of cheats and stuff.

Might have been groundbreaking when it came out, but it's completely obsolete in my eyes now and not particularly fun.


I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle


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Author: Suskie
Posted: June 02, 2008 (10:09 AM)
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Games need to be judged with a consciousness of the time frame in which they were released. Expecting ANY game to age perfectly, or to hold up against its sequels and predecessors, is unfair. Games naturally progress and get better over time, so rather than rating older games by today's standards, it's better to take into consideration what a game meant to its audiences when it first came out. You think developers twenty years ago were saying, "Hey, let's make sure this game is so good that in 2008, people will still like it"? Nah, you can't plan ahead like that.

I consider Metroid an exception because the game always had flaws that we overlooked for the longest time. But giving Resident Evil 2 a 4/10 because it doesn't compare to RE4 is ridiculous, and a few years from now, when some new guy comes around and says RE4 is crap because it doesn't compare to RE6, you'll understand what I mean.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: Halon
Posted: June 02, 2008 (10:31 AM)
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I remember creating maps of the areas with friends when I was probably around eight years old. It came out pretty good; wish I still have it. I'm not sure if I can do something like that today.

Anyways I tried playing the game a few years back and it was absolute torture for me. Starting with 30 health really makes it unplayable, not that it's a good game to begin with.


IF YOU WANT MORE BEATS FOR YOUR BUCK THERE'S NO LUCK.


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (10:30 AM)
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This site seems to pride itself on its love for old school gaming. That's great: it's one of the reasons I love this site. But if I'm reading a Dark Fact review, for instance, and he's raving about how a game used to be good and groundbreaking for its time so I should give it a shot... frankly that's not very useful to me. Not as useful as it would be to acknowledge the game's goodness in the context of its time, before going on to give me what I am really reading for: would I like it today.


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (10:37 AM)
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Now it looks like I took a shot at Dark Fact. :/


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: June 02, 2008 (11:09 AM)
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I wasnít expecting this review to cause so much discussion. I am pleased. Allow me to offer my rebuttal.

Games need to be judged with a consciousness of the time frame in which they were released. Expecting ANY game to age perfectly, or to hold up against its sequels and predecessors, is unfair. Games naturally progress and get better over time, so rather than rating older games by today's standards, it's better to take into consideration what a game meant to its audiences when it first came out.

I agree with this, and though my comments from the above post may indicate otherwise, this is how I judge all the games I play. If I were to solely rate Metroid based off of 2008ís standard, the game would get less than a 1, as opposed to the Ďgenerousí (as Sportsman called it) 4/10 I gave it.

While it is important to keep in mind the era, technology, and legacy when it comes to reviewing the game, it is unwise to write a naÔve review that doesnít take into account on how the game holds up in todayís modern world. Itís also unwise to rate a game without keeping its contemporaries and counterparts in mind. For example, as I see it, Super Mario Bros. was outdone by part 3. Calling the original the best in the series just doesnít make sense to me. I donít care if it saved video gaming in North America or made Nintendo into what it is today . . . or at least not enough to let that noticeably impact my score. As the game stands, it has an important legacy, but I prefer its sequels because theyíre better.

I am fair when I review older games just as I am fair when I review newer games. I check to see if I like a game, but I also make sure that I donít let fleeting memories indicate how much I like or dislike something in the present. If I like a game today, thatís great. I never play a game, form an opinion on it, and then change it to cater to some time period, be that the past or the present.

But giving Resident Evil 2 a 4/10 because it doesn't compare to RE4 is ridiculous, and a few years from now, when some new guy comes around and says RE4 is crap because it doesn't compare to RE6, you'll understand what I mean.

Bad example. I didnít rate RE2 4 stars out of 10 because itís inferior to RE4. I gave it 4 stars because the game has poor play control, dumb puzzles, stiff combat, and bad voice acting. To be fair, I think I could give the game a few points higher as that score sounds a little too low. I love the story and the atmosphere; those qualities erase some of the bad things I mentioned. But regardless, Iíve always recognized flaws in RE2. As for RE4, that game is just immaculate.


I don't have to boost my review resume because I have a real resume.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (11:46 AM)
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Resident Evil 2 versus 4 is indeed a bad example. Perhaps something like Prince of Persia would be a better one?

I remember when Resident Evil 2 was still a new game and a friend at the dorms came over and we played video games one Saturday when snowed in (the dorms were right by Mt. Bachelor, frequent ski retreat).

Resident Evil 2 was one game he owned, so he let me try it from the start. I immediately died--on the first group of enemies--because I couldn't turn to face them. For a long time, this mechanic was coded into the Resident Evil DNA. The director has even gone on record saying that the control scheme was part of what makes the Resident Evil games so good, because it heightens the sense that something lurks around the corner that you won't be able to deal with.

I think that's absurd. If pressing the 'A' button too light or too hard didn't make Mario jump at all, would that 'heighten the sense that something lurks around the corner that you won't be able to deal with'? Absolutely. Will it make the game any better? No!

Resident Evil 4 is a game I've played only a little bit. I wasn't particularly good at it and I didn't play again after my first death when some guy pelted me with pitchforks from the awning of his wood shed as I was surrounded by five or six zombies on the ground, but at least in that game's defense the visuals were stunning, the controls were spot-on and it was just well-designed in general. I would happily play it again as time permits, keeping the existence of my friend with the pitchfork firmly in mind. 4 will always be better than 2 because it always has been.

With all of that said, I think one reason I personally have trouble with some of the low scores people give games here--and Felix seems to be exempt from this particular criticism by virtue of the low scores he gives some games across the board--is that there's an obvious delight taken in dismantling Nintendo classics that is more memorable than any of the text such people churn out in the process. Low scores for Metroid, Zelda and so forth are gleefully awarded several times a year. People then rewrite bash reviews just so that (to all appearances, anyway) they can elicit a fresh round of protests by crapping all over cherished gems.

People are free to review whatever they like, and to award any score they like when accompanied by a well-written review. Even so, they need to stop viewing positive reviews for a game on a retro Nintendo platform as an invitation to retaliate with bash reviews. This isn't a war to see who can bash more of the opposition's prized games. This isn't a gamer battlefield. If you know so much about retro games, why not take a different approach? Instead of all banding together to see who can write the most remarkable prose while tearing my favorite NES and SNES games a new one, instead of pondering how you can write "the definitive bash" of some Nintendo classic, why not turn that skillful writing to praise of the Genesis titles I might have missed--and perhaps even the ones you feel that I should definitely avoid, perish the thought--instead?

None of the above, by the way, is a criticism of Felix's Metroid review, which I thought was a great read. Personally I'd give the game a higher score, but I felt that it presented the points in defense of its interpretation exceedingly well (impeccable word choice in places, by the way, and solid structure!). They don't match my experience with the game and that's fine. I won't be reviewing SEGA Genesis games I think are overrated next week for revenge. ;-)

By the way, I really would like to see a wider variety of Genesis titles reviewed one way or the other on this site. The system had more than just the shooters we so often see reviewed. Maybe a future competition could be to review a Genesis title that no one else has yet reviewed?


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (12:56 PM)
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Well said, Jason. I never did get the bash review thing.

I mostly played Genesis shooters, and I think I'm spent as far as Genesis games go.


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: Suskie
Posted: June 02, 2008 (12:55 PM)
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The reason I used RE2 vs. RE4 as an example was because the comment left to accompany Felix's rating made it sound like the only reason he gave the game a low score was because it didn't compare to RE4. I know now that this was an incorrect assumption, but it doesn't change the fact that most people who played RE2 when it originally released loved it.

That doesn't include you, Jason, and that's fine. But it's still a point that needs to be made. I loved RE2 when it came out. Nowadays? Nah, not so much, especially now that RE4 has been out for years. That seems to be the perspective most people have on the series. Don't say my example was bad just because you're one of the few who doesn't agree. Seems some of the bad habits exhibited by the HG community ("I hate it, so everyone must hate it") have slipped into your system as well.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (12:59 PM)
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I'll keep this short.

I've never really agreed with the "a game should be reviewed in its era" arguement. I think that if a game pushed the envolope then this should be mentioned and credit given. But if a game is unplayable or eroded by today's standards, then it is just that. Good games do no need us to hold their hands and pretend that everything is still perfect for them. Get that feeding tube away from it! It lives and dies on its own merit or what's the bloody point?

I gave Phantasy Star II a 10/10 not so much because it was a great game but rather because it still is.

Edit: Bash reviewing is good for the soul.


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (01:29 PM)
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I'd like to point out that I have no opinion on the RE2 vs RE4 'argument', though my WELL SAID JASON VENTER, may have implied that I agreed with the bastard.


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (01:32 PM)
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I'm getting the impression, Suskie, that you think certain people on this site are ganging up against you, and that you in turn are unhappy with this site.


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: June 02, 2008 (01:31 PM)
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You're a sneaky man, Masters.

I like everything Jason said in that long post. Both about Resident Evil, my review, and Genesis games. Let's hold a long discussion over my Egypt review now.


I don't have to boost my review resume because I have a real resume.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (01:58 PM)
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I don't claim to speak for Suskie, Masters, but I know that in general there often seems like a negative vibe going around the site forums lately. It's something that I would like to see diminish.

I know that when we first set up forums here, people were excited about a place to discuss games passionately but with consideration to other gamers so that there wouldn't be any trolling and fanboy rants and such. Sometimes, it seems like we haven't avoided that nearly as much as we'd hoped.

I'd like to see a little more tolerance for opposing viewpoints and a more hospitable environment in general, even when people want to talk about systems and games that aren't in favor at present. That's something that we can work together to achieve, if we find that we really want it (and I would hope that we all do). There's no way it'll happen unless all (or at least most) of us are in agreement, so let's agree to post intelligently and with consideration in the weeks ahead--and let's talk about some cool stuff!

Slight bickering aside, I think this has been a great topic and I'm happy that it occurred, though disappointed that some of it was at the expense of more direct discussion of Felix's excellent review.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (02:00 PM)
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When you review a game, it should be on the merits you found in it when you played it. If you think it's fun, give it a high rating and praise it to the heavens. If you thought it stunk, give it a low rating and give us a laundry list of its flaws. Should someone give a classic game that hasn't aged well a couple extra points because it was considered kickass back in the day? "Man, I just thought this game was drab, repetitive and frustrating --- but it was considered the next best thing to sliced bread in 1986, so I have to give it an 8 or so, I guess." Not a good way to establish credibility.

If you play Metroid today and think it's fun, that's cool. If you think it's clunky and not-so-fun now, but deserves nothing but good reviews because of how important it was, that's not cool.

I still love the simplicity of that first Zelda game. While playing through the GBC Oracle games, I've spent a decent bit of time wishing they'd be a bit more like that first one and cut out a few of the fetch-quests and whatnot to get from one dungeon to the next. In the world of sports games, the ability to micromanage a football program like you get in Madden and NCAA is cool, but doesn't have the enduring fun for me that a quicky season of Tecmo Super Bowl does. On the other hand, I couldn't imagine willingly playing Metroid when I could pop in Super Metroid or (as similar games) any of the SM-inspired Castlevanias. And that's something I have to take into consideration when I'm reviewing a game --- that's different than your take on it, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Oh, as for the RE 2 to 4 debate, I don't like comparing the two simply because with 4, Capcom changed the game's entire system from survival horror to essentially an FPS, but not from the FPS view.

To me, comparing those two games would be like comparing an old Castlevania game (all the NES/SNES ones except Simon's Quest) to Symphony of the Night or any of a number of other recent ones. One group is composed of arcade-style platformers, the other is composed on action-RPGs. They might be set in the same environment with many of the same characters/weapons/enemies/etc., but are nowhere near the same game.

Oh, and Felix: Egypt is a country. And a strategy game. Is that good for a start?

Oh, and Suskie: I have a lot of love for Kid Icarus. Well, except for when I'm in a castle, get eggplanted in like one-two rooms before the boss, have to go back all the way to the beginning of the place to the hot springs, go back and get eggplanted again. Can't remember if it's the second or third castle, but that has happened to me repeatedly in one of them. Fills me full of rage, it does.


I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (02:44 PM)
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Incidentally, Rob, how old you?


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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